[ExI] consciousness and perception

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Sat Jan 24 18:58:58 UTC 2009

At 11:27 AM 1/24/2009 -0700, Brent wrote:

>I think much of the world is missing what is important and obvious 
>about consciousness, and that this is keeping us from making what I 
>believe will be THE most important scientific discovery of all 
>time.  And that this discovery will change the world, for the 
>better, more than any other scientific achievement.

Stipulating (just for the sake of argument) that qualia are real, why 
should that reality have these wonderful beneficial effects? I 
suppose it might do so if one concluded that the reality of qualia 
did indeed imply something supernatural or transcendent about 
personality, but I think you deny this, right? You're not claiming 
that qualia prove the independent survival of personality after 
material death, say?

If you're using qualia as a basis for reinforcing empathy ("Look! We 
are all alike, and share our interests as qualia-laden humans! Play 
nice! Let's sing Kumbaya!"), why does that get us any further than 
knowing we all digest our food and fire our synapses much the same way?

(By the way, I thought we were talking in this thread about 
representations and mental models, not qualia or souls.)

Damien Broderick

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